Oakland | asian-inspired eats at saucy

Saucy Oakland was one of those unexpected finds. The place is the size of a postage stamp. It seats about 20 people. When Mr Sweetie and I walked in, the place was filled with googly-eyed couples. They were obviously very much on date night mode. Who could blame them? The place was set to mood lighting that sets the tone for romantic dinner.

We were told that it will be a 15-20 minute wait for a table. We were offered a communal bar-style table while waiting where one solo person was already sitting. It was a little awkward because he was just sitting there. We were wondering if he was a food runner. In the end he asked for the check. He probably just had a drink and decided to stay.

While waiting we were offered a bowl of edamame on the house which was very tasty. I insisted on waiting for a table instead of dining at the communal table. It was great for people-watching which was how we entertained ourselves to pass the time. Finally, we gave in and told the staff that we could wait not longer after close to 30 minutes. Everyone was still googly-eyed which was fun to watch, and we knew that no one would be moving anytime soon.

We did not feel neglected as the staff kept on checking on us and apologized for the long wait. As we were about to be served, a table opened up and the staff readily moved us to the best table by the window.

The menu is small, just like the venue but everything we had was “wow!”. We started off with a couple of appetizers:

  • Thai Corn Dogs 2 for $9 — pork belly, lemongrass and honey mustard
  • Hamachi Shooters 3 for $13 — yellowtail, avocado, ponzu

I just had a bite of the Thai Corn Dog. It was tasty and definitely a creative combination. The Hamachi Shooters were fresh and so good that I had to restrain myself from getting another order since our main dishes already arrived.

As for our main entrees, we had:

  • Beef Short Ribs $19 with truffle cauliflower puree and shiso slaw
  • Chicken Adobo $14 with Jasmine Rice

I usually gravitate towards non-beef or vegetarian dishes but Mr Sweetie beat me to the Chicken Adobo. I could not resist getting the short ribs which I was glad that I did! It was melt in your mouth and very delicious! Beef short ribs is one of my specialty dishes although I have not cooked it in a long time. I had to take a bite of Mr Sweetie’s Chicken Adobo to see how it fares to mine. (As a Filipina, I had to do it!) I approve! I actually told the server (without shame) that mine is better but theirs was close enough. Our server was very gracious in saying that nothing can beat home-cooked meals and they try to cook as close to the traditional recipes. I appreciate that the Chicken Adobo was not sweet as “Americanized” Asian dishes tend to be to accommodate the Western palate.

We truly enjoyed our dinner at Saucy. True to its statement, Saucy if fun and modern. Its pan-Asian dishes are imaginative and creative yet still manage to retain their traditional flavor profile. Mr Sweetie told me as we were leaving that we should go back and try more dishes. That is quite a compliment as it is very seldom that he likes to return to the same restaurant given there are still hundreds that we have yet to try. As I often bemoan how expensive everything is in the Bay Area, Saucy’s values were great. Main entree under $20 for dinner is almost unheard of here. Saucy’s portions were also very generous. The staff were very nice as well. Until the next time but we will make sure to get a reservation first!

Saucy Oakland

3932 Telegraph Ave Oakland, CA 94609
Neighborhood: Temescal (North Oakland)

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